Friday, June 12, 2009

Introducing Capri, Cilla, Chessie & Caboose

I went to an area shelter a few weeks ago to rescue a litter of kittens. This shelter gets in so many animals every day, and doesn't do many adoptions. They actually euthanize the animals there three times a week because they get so many in. It's very hard to go to this shelter and walk out knowing how many of the puppies, adult dogs, cats and kittens will be killed. Some of the dogs look at me, and they just know. They sit there looking so depressed that it breaks my heart. But the ones that make me cry are the ones that look so happy. This last time there was one dog in particular - a black dog, around 50 pounds, that looked at me with this big smile, tongue hanging out, looking so hopeful that I would pet her or play with her. And I couldn't touch her for fear of spreading disease, and I couldn't take her away since I have no more room, and I couldn't do anything but turn my back and walk away, knowing that because she's a big black dog, a mutt, she has almost no chance of being saved. Someone, somewhere thought it was too expensive to get their dog spayed, or it would be fun to have a litter of puppies, or they just didn't want to bother with it. So another unwanted dog was born and ended up in a shelter, alone, waiting to die.

I didn't mean to make this post so depressing - maybe it just helps that other people know how hard it is to go there and see that. The reason I go back, time after time, is because I can make a difference. Whenever animals come into that shelter they are assigned a tag with a number on it. When rescuers go to pull animals, they write down the tag numbers of the animals they think they may be able to help, and then the shelter workers check to see if those animals are available. Unless an owner comes in to the shelter and turns over an animal, agreeing it can be immediately euthanized, all the rest of the dogs and cats must be held for at least 5 business days in case an owner claims them. So when I went in, I wrote down the tag numbers of several kittens, to find out which ones had been held the required time and would be available to go. As I inquired about their status, I learned that fourteen of the kittens I had inquired about were scheduled to be euthanized the next morning. I had no way I could take so many kittens, but I couldn't bear to leave them behind either. It's hard enough to walk out of there knowing that the ones I leave behind have such a slim chance for adoption - it's impossible to walk out knowing that they have NO chance. So I began making phone calls, and fortunately several Heartland volunteers stepped forward to help. I was on my lunch hour and had to go back to work, so Cindy, one of our volunteers, actually went to the shelter and pulled all fourteen kittens! She kept them at her house, got them all dewormed and started on medication, and held onto all fourteen of them for several weeks. That's quite a sacrifice to make on top of all her other fosters she is already caring for - and these kittens wouldn't be alive without her. After that, six of the kittens went to another volunteer (thanks Barb!) and just recently four of the kittens came to my house. The last four kittens are still at Cindy's house and I will get them in another week or two. So all of that, just to introduce my four newest kittens!

This cutie is named Caboose (Cabbie for short). He's got the funniest coloring, and he has this weird double stripe down his back, which you can see in the picture.

This is Cabbie's sister, named Cilla. She is such a little roly-poly kitten and she loves to eat!

The other two kittens in this "litter" are not related to Cabbie and Cilla, but they've become instant friends and are sharing living quarters. They were each "singles" - we don't know what happened to the rest of their litters. Here is Capri. She's my first Siamese mix, and she's the most affectionate of the bunch!

And here's Chessie - she's an adorable Torbie (tabby with brown patches).
All four kittens are doing great, and go to the vet next week to get checked out and spayed/neutered.

No comments: